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Dakota Datebook
6:42 am, 8:42 am, 3:50 pm, 5:44 pm, and 7:50 pm CT

Sitting Bull to Phil Jackson, cattle to prairie dogs, knoephla to lefse. North Dakota's legacy includes many strange stories of eccentric towns, war heroes, and various colorful characters. Hear all about them on Dakota Datebook, your daily dose of North Dakota history.

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

You can find all Dakota Datebooks from 2018-today below. Our archive of Datebooks from 2003-2017 can be found here.

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  • Farmers saw an economic boon during World War I. They bought more acreage and invested in farm machinery. In the aftermath of the war, crop prices collapsed when the sudden decrease in demand resulted in oversupply. Farmers needing government assistance subsequently became an important voting bloc in the 1928 presidential election.
  • In this episode of Dakota Datebook, we'll listen to Dusty Olson, enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation, talk about essential understandings in our schools.
  • In the summer of 1919, a United States Army motorized expedition took sixty-two days to travel 3,251 miles from Washington DC to San Francisco. The convoy tested the mobility of the Army as it became increasingly motorized. The official observer for the War Department was a young Lieutenant Colonel named Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Historian Frederick Jackson Turner came to Chicago not for the World’s Fair like thousands of other people, but for the annual conference of the American Historical Association. On this date in 1893, Turner put the finishing touches on his Frontier Thesis, a speech he would give to the conference the following evening. Turner argued that the settlement of the American frontier was the foundation of a uniquely American culture.
  • On this date in 1919, a front-page article in the Bismarck Tribune explained how the newspaper scored a scoop and obtained a photograph of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, calling it “the most remarkable achievement of modern journalism.”
  • On this date in 1969, as many North Dakotans were sound asleep, a severe storm ripped through Ramsey county. Approximately six miles wide and nine miles long, the storm’s path of damage started in the Webster area and moved southeast. Hailstones the size of hens eggs ripped through farms, with damage to buildings, equipment, and crops.
  • In this episode of Dakota Datebook, we'll listen to Dennis Fox, Jr., enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation in, "We Are Honored and So We Give."
  • After serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, Colonel Clement Lounsberry moved west. He entered journalism as a writer for the Minneapolis Tribune, but he had something else in mind - establishing a newspaper wherever the Northern Pacific Railroad crossed the Missouri River. That plan became a reality in 1873 when the first issue of the Bismarck Tribune came off the presses.
  • North Dakota has a lively history of local Independence Day celebrations. Here is a sampling of the Fourth of July from way back when.
  • The Wild West was not nearly as wild as it is portrayed in books, movies, and television. Life on the frontier was hard work, and that in turn created a need for entertainment, and there was no shortage of ways for people to spend their time and money.

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.